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What proficiencies do you need to craft Serpent Scale Armor?

My DM said I need both Smith's Tools and Leatherworker's Tools because there's both metal and serpent scales needed to craft it.

If it's ruled out as DM discretion, what type of armor can you specifically craft with Smith's Tools and Leatherworker's Tools?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, It's a westmarch 5e with homebrew world settings, for the ingredients and stuff my DM said I'll be able to get it, but it's gonna be a longterm investment. I don't have proficiencies in either tools but I'm gonna start my downtime training for it once I have the clarification in here and a bit of talk with my DM \$\endgroup\$
    – Nil Nox
    Jul 31 at 10:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 1 at 5:05
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It’s up to the DM.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (p. 128) contains the (optional) rules for crafting an item (including magic items), which state:

A character needs to be proficient with the tools needed to craft an item and have access to the appropriate equipment. Everyone who collaborates needs to have the appropriate tool proficiency. You need to make any judgment calls regarding whether a character has the correct equipment.

So the DM has full discretion concerning what tools are required to craft a magic item.

The Serpent Scale Armor is described as follows (Candlekeep Mysteries, p. 98):

This armor consists of a coat and leggings (and perhaps a separate skirt) of leather covered with overlapping pieces of metal, much like the scales of a fish.

It seems reasonable to require smith’s and leatherworker’s tools to craft a suit of armor consisting of serpent leather and metal materials.

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The DM is being too harsh.

While the crafting rules in Xanathar's Guide to Everything put it on the DM's shoulders to decide what tools are required, nothing in those instructions ever implies that multiple tool sets should be required.

The optional rules for crafting an item say this (XGE, p. 128):

A character needs to be proficient with the tools needed to craft an item and have access to the appropriate equipment. Everyone who collaborates needs to have the appropriate tool proficiency.

This passage uses the singular "tool proficiency", not "proficiencies", and the sample table implies that smith's tools are sufficient to make almost any armor. It seems overly limiting to me to require two separate crafting skills before you're able to make basic scale armor. How many characters even have two tool proficiencies, let alone these two in particular?

Since Serpent Scale Armor (Candlekeep Mysteries, p. 98) is magical, there's even yet another option:

To complete a magic item, a character also needs whatever tool proficiency is appropriate, as for crafting a nonmagical object, or proficiency in the Arcana skill.

I assume you can't go the Arcana route, but again -- note that it uses the singular 'tool proficiency'. It doesn't even consider the idea of needing to have two separate tool sets just because the armor has leather parts.

Your DM can do whatever they want to, but this seems like an absurd requirement to put on the players, unless the DM is just using this as a pretext to prevent you from making items.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your quote doesn't have "tool proficiency" anywhere within it. It says "proficient with the tools needed..." What is singular about that? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Aug 1 at 21:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, given a background and a feat, or even some class features, it's quite easy to end up with more than one tool proficiency... \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Aug 1 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Whenever it refers to a proficiency at all (rather than a set of tools, which is always plural), it's singular. "Everyone who collaborates needs to have the appropriate tool proficiency", "a character also needs whatever tool proficiency is appropriate". In the first quote, it's clear from the bit about collaboration that it expects the aforementioned proficiency to be with a single tool set. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1 at 22:55

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